South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Edward Kieswetter said he took the findings of the Nugent commission of inquiry seriously and would implement the recommendations as required.
He was speaking at a briefing in Pretoria where he revealed the revenue service’s plans for the 2019 tax season that kicks off next month.
Retired Judge Robert Nugent investigated tax administration and governance over a four-year period starting in 2014. His findings led to President Cyril Ramaphosa removing former commissioner Tom Moyane from his position.
Kieswetter said on his first day as the commissioner he told staff where he stood in relation to a recent investigation related to the revenue service.
“I’m clear on the Nugent commission on the state capture project and I’m clear that to the extent that the recommendations that are coming out of this I’ll address all of them,” he said.
He said Sars was reviewing all disciplinary cases from 2014.
“And where we believe that these cases were created or manufactured to support the corrupt intent ee obviously have to address that.”
Kieswetter said upon his arrival at Sars he found an organisation where staff had lost confidence in management, but he was committed to changing that.
CONFIDENT OF MEETING REVENUE COLLECTION TARGET
Kieswetter confirmed the organisation’s revenue collection target was over R1.4 trillion, an increase of 10% from the previous season.
Kieswetter said his confidence in meeting the target was not based on the strength of the economy, accepting that there were difficulties there. He explained that Sars would work within that constraint.
He said it was the service’s ability to enforce tax compliance that would help achieve the target.
“One hundred percent of our effort at the moment is to ensure that we understand the risks that should direct our work and that we direct our work appropriately to give us the best possible chance to collect the revenue that is due. I can tell you now that the internal message is R1.4 trillion is the target and we will strive to achieve it.”
Kieswetter warned that Sars was working closely with law enforcement agencies to track down and prosecute people and companies not paying their dues.
The 2019 tax filing season officially starts next month.
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